OHIO -- This car stays on the outs more than it can be driven, and Volvo of America's advice is use a Volvo repair shop for all repairs. Gheee, ya think? I could hear the rattling of change in the representative's brain when she said that. I can imagine the only thing going through her small mind was "more money, more money, oh yeah!" She may get more money from some unsuspecting fool, but it will never be from me. I would not buy a Volvo again ever. I see newer models on Volvo dealership lots for less than I paid for this one, that should tell you something.
Don't waste your money on future repairs, do your research and buy something worth your hard earned money. Even Consumer Reports listed this car as poor (Too bad I purchased it before seeing the write up). Everything consumers said about it and then some has gone wrong.
I definitely would not recommend this vehicle to ANYONE. Since I purchased mine in 2002 I have had nothing but problems. If you still wish to buy a vehicle of this sort be prepared to replace the following items on a consistent basis, and the replacements are not inexpensive: front tires, inner and outer tie rod ends, sway bar end links, control arms, control arm bushings, control mounts, upper spring seats, and basically any and everything pertaining to the suspension of the vehicle.
New information added 6/28/08: After reading some of the comments, let me add that I was having the car serviced at a Volvo authorized repair shop as well as the Volvo dealership repair center. I was going there so often, and my father-in-law who only owned Volvo's until the last 4 or 5 years has a friend that is a former Volvo repairman. My father-in-law did all of his own work on his Volvo and never had any problems. He also helped in some of the repairs on mine.
I remember going to the Volvo dealership repair center one time and they said the diagnostic would only take 30 minutes, it was over two hours. I had my 10-month-old with me who was more than fussy by then, and they said "we can't find anything wrong." After two hours of doing whatever they did the car they could not find anything and still the car was not steering well, and was still making a grinding/clicking noise when turning.
I had my father-in-law and his friend look at it, and they immediately found the problem and fixed it. I was livid. The control arms and CV joint boots needed replacing, that is supposed to be one of the easiest things to diagnose in a steering, front end problem. I realized then I was dealing with a bunch of idiots at the dealer repair center and did not feel comfortable going back to that place for repairs. Oh but they did find that I needed the turbo seal replaced, so they did that for $100.
When I told my father-in-law about that he said "oh that's about a $10 part". Sure enough the next time I needed that done (they go out about every six months) we bought the part for $5.99 from the same repair center and replaced it ourselves in about 20 minutes. Such a rip off those places.
As for owning a high end car (I definitely do not consider Volvo a high-end car) and the repairs needing to be done at their centers because they know and do so much more, I have to STRONGLY disagree. My vehicle prior to the Volvo was a BMW. I only took it to BMW when I lived in my home state. When I moved to California I did any and all work myself, and let me tell you, when I did the work once, I did not do the same work again over the next five years that I owned the car. In fact if someone had not hit me and totaled that car I would still be driving it today.
At the time it was totaled I had just bought a house because I had no car payments, little outstanding debt and my spouse and I both had good reliable transportation. And I was staying home so on one income the last thing I wanted to do is buy a vehicle after buying a house just a few months earlier.
All in all, I just hope that if people get anything out of this information, just know that the name of a vehicle does not exactly mean it is of good or even reliable quality. Whatever you buy it is at risk for being junk, and I hate that I had to learn this the hard and expensive way. I just hope that someone else does not learn this lesson the same way. I appreciate being able to voice my three cents and hopefully help someone along the way.
My daughter got in a super minor fender bender and both airbags deployed (no one was in the passenger seat). She has severe eye damage (permanent), almost blinded, severe facial burns and cuts. She was only going about 10 miles per hour and the car has minor fender damage. However, we have about $25.00 in medical bills due to the airbag deploying in her face and the eye damage that she will live with her whole life (she is 16).
While the fender damages was $500, the cost due to the airbags deploying, raised the cost to $4500. The airbag that deployed on the passenger seat (again, with no one sitting there), caused the entire windshield to smash (the panel on the dashboard where the air bag sits, blew right through the front windshield. Who the heck designed THAT? Didn't Volvo check to see if the panel, when opened, would smash into the windshield and shatter it?
Most important, the airbags should not deploy in a 10 mile an hour accident. The permanent scars, eye damage, ear damage to my daughter are ridiculous, painful and Volvo should be ashamed. This is NOT a safe design and their reputation should not show them as 'safe cars'.
Purchased a 2004 Volvo XC-90 in November 2003. For $2800.00 purchased a 100000 7 year extended warranty. I was told it ran from the last date of the Mfg. 5-year warranty. Auto has 71,000 miles. I think it should be covered until Nov. until 2012. Dealer says it is limited to 10 years from purchase date. I think I have been had by Volvo. This is my second one, and maybe my last. All I WANT IS WHAT I PURCHASED FOR PROTECTION. These people should go into the Insurance Business: apparently they have the same morals.
Why??? Purchased my XC-90 in 2006. I have replaced my wheel bearings 3 times now: 21,000, 43,000 and now 70,000 (My latest bill was $840.00). A Volvo dealer showed us a large section of their garage that was filled with defective wheel bearings. We have had numerous major problems with my car. I wish we had done more research on this car. You will spend a lot of time in the garage, and very little time driving this car.